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Council reports unsafe scaffold work

Council officers alerted the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to poor scaffolding in London, a court has heard.

Members of Ealing Council made the call after observing very unsafe practices while workers erected scaffolding for the refurbishment of a building into a hotel in November 2013.

Chart Forte Court (West Ealing) Limited, the property developer in charge of the project, and LS Scaffolders, the company it contracted to put up the scaffolding, have both been fined for safety breaches.

Risk of falls

Concerns were raised regarding the stability of the partially completed structure.

Ealing Council Building Control was asked by the HSE to inspect the scaffold and duly served a Dangerous Structure Notice on Chart Forte Court (as owner of the site) requiring them to make safe or take down the scaffold by 18 December 2013.

Before the scaffold could be taken down, the two companies involved were required to satisfy the HSE that this could be completed with a safe system of work in place. But LS Scaffolding proceeded to take the scaffold down anyway over the weekend of 15 December 2013.

It was being dismantled so unsafely that members of the public asked the police to intervene.

Another prohibition was served when HSE visited the site the next day, as workers were still at risk of falls from height.

Chart Forte Court (West Ealing) Limited of Ashtons Road, Northwood, pleaded guilty to Regulation 22(1)(a) of the Construction (Design & Management) Regulations 2007. It was fined £18,000 with costs of £932 and a victim surcharge of £120.

LS Scaffolding Limited of Vicarage Farm Road, Hounslow, was fined £18,000 with costs of £964 and a victim surcharge of £120 after it admitted breaching Regulation 4(1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005.

Source: Health and Safety Executive